Agile Science – the search begins

What is Agile Science? I still don’t know, but as a former molecular biologist who is writing about Agile issues for organisations like Softhouse and Scania, I certainly like the sound of the expression. Feel free to join me on my exploration!

In 1921, the Italian Nobel Prize winner Luigi Pirandello published his play Sei personaggi in cerca d’autoreSix Characters in Search of an Author. This title comes to mind when i start this exploration of the concept ”Agile Science”. It is namely a concept in search of three things:

  • A definition.
  • A model.
  • A use.

So, in true Agile spirit, I hereby present the first iteration.

Definition, v. 0.9

Agile Science is the use of Agile principles, as described by the Agile Manifesto, to make faster scientific progress, increase the quality of scientific documentation and communication and improve the psychosocial environment in research labs and academic departments.

Model, v. 0.9

The initial model I propose is this:

  • Scientific output is the product of a tight team, rather than a loose cluster of individuals.
  • Scientific work is divided into three phases: (1) hypothesis creation, (2) data production and (3) data analysis.
  • For phase (2), the following ways-of-working can be used to give a better throughput, improve cooperation and decrease stress: an iterative approach, Kanban and a modified version of Scrum.

Use, v. 0.9

I suggest that Agile Science is initially used to produce large amounts of data during repetitive runs of well-established methods.

I don’t know what this is yet, but it is my prototype and it is cool!

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